Featuring special musical guests Jeff Kashiwa, Kim Waters, Marion Meadows, Steve Oliver, and Gerald Veasley, Got It Goin' On is Special EFX's co-founder Chieli Minucci's sixth solo offering. His exploration of different musical styles and blends continues in this album as he combines old and new; pop, funk and jazz; electric and acoustic; and sounds from across the globe.
The upbeat, pop-jazz “Stars In Your Eyes” starts things off with some flawless and incredibly tight work between Minucci on guitar and keys, Steve Oliver on vocals, and Jeff Kashiwa on sax. The title track, “Got It Goin' On” gets into a slow, funky groove with some nice interplay between Kim Waters on sax and Minucci's guitar.
Kicking it up, is the fun, upbeat and funky, “Good Times Ahead,” again featuring Jeff Kashiwa and Steve Oliver in a song written especially for them. Check out the great bass line by Jerry Brooks!
“Love Is Always Young,” written by Chieli's dad, Ulpio, and lyricist Mark Roberts, is a beautifully moving acoustic guitar tribute to Minucci's father. Next up is a little 80s Philly funk resurrection with a little help from Steve Oliver, Gerald Veasley and Jay Rowe.
My favorite track on Got It Goin' On is “Deeper Than Deep.” This song rips! It's one upbeat, rolling “bass-off” between Gerald Veasley and Jerry Brooks that includes some remarkable tripling with Veasley, Brooks and Minucci. Go ahead and hit replay. I'll wait.
Slowing things way down is what Minucci calls “a musical poem… a cinematic piece.” “Destiny” is a moody, esoteric piece that picks up and grooves toward the end.
Picking the pace back up is “The Juice.” This fun, very funky track features some great sax/guitar exchanges between Marion Meadows and Minucci, and it ends before you want it to. “Denial” is a great acoustic funk number featuring Jay Rowe and David Mann. It gets you way in the groove, and is another highlight of this album.
Minucci ends the CD with an intriguing version of a favorite from his live performances, “Still Waiting.” This one proves that “Fusion” is still alive and well. It features fast-paced, up-tempo tribal percussion and vocals underlying a contrasting, contemplative electric guitar, and throws in some great moving soprano sax work by David Mann. There is a bonus track, but it takes a long time to get to it and it doesn't really seem to fit, but it's a pleasant segment of acoustic guitar and piano improv.
Got It Goin' On is an engaging CD; one that will find a place in my CD player rotation for some time.
- Elizabeth Ware